New Unification Minister 'Open' to Inter-Korean Summit

      September 15, 2011 09:38

      Unification Minister nominee Yu Woo-ik told a National Assembly confirmation hearing on Wednesday that he is open to the idea of pursuing an inter-Korean summit. He said a summit between President Lee Myung-bak and North Korean leader Kim Jong-il could be "a useful means" to resolve inter-Korean tensions and added there is "no reason" not to pursue a meeting if the conditions are met.

      But Yu added North Korea must first apologize for or "take responsible steps" over the sinking of the Navy corvette Cheonan and shelling of Yeonpyeong Island last year.

      He also pledged to consider building another joint industrial complex with North Korea if the existing Kaesong Industrial Complex is filled. "At one time, the two Koreas studied the possibility of sharing the lower estuary of the Han River and compiled a report. We still haven't scrapped this research and we should be able to look for ways that South and North can work together on the project," he said.

      President Lee Myung-bak told Russian state TV during his visit to Moscow in September last year that he would like to see a second inter-Korean industrial complex to be built. At the last inter-Korean summit in 2007, Seoul and Pyongyang chose North Korea's a special economic zone of Haeju as a possible site for the industrial park.

      At present, 123 South Korean businesses have factories in Kaesong and employ some 47,000 North Korean workers.

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